The Hawk wrestlers, after losing their first match in four years to Oklahoma State, traveled to Lincoln last Friday and started another winning streak, knocking off the seventh-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers, 24-9.
Iowa got a big win at 174 when ninth-ranked Mike Evans won a 7-3 decision over third-rated Robert Kokesh.
Matt McDonough put on a clinic at 125, scoring five takedowns and leading 14-3 before getting a pin in the second period.
The Hawks had seven wins, including Tony Ramos (133), Montell Marion (141), Mike Kelly (149), Ethen Lofthouse (174) and Grant Gambrall (197).
“We did some good things,” said Iowa Head Coach Tom Brands. “We grabbed control of the dual, which is always important, but we need to grab control of every match and not give the opponent any opportunities.”
The win gave the Hawkeyes 900 dual victories. Only Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Oregon have more than 900 dual wins.
Iowa made it two in a row, knocking off 17th-ranked Northwestern 24-13 Sunday at Carver Hawkeye Arena.
Six wins for Iowa including a pin for Ramos and three major decisions.
McDonough had five takedowns and a pair of near fall points in an 18-4 major decision.
Marion racked up nine takedowns in his 21-7 major and Mike Evans posted an 11-0 major at 165.
The Hawks need to get Derek St. John back at 157. Nick Moore lost a major decision 17-4 at that weight and Bobby Telford has lost three straight at heavyweight.
“Six out of 10 matches is not what we are about,” said coach Brands. “It’s a lot more fun to steamroll opponents, work hard, and feel good about all 10 guys. We have work to do.”
Iowa took on Michigan State at East Lansing last Wednesday and hosted the Michigan Wolverines at Carver last Saturday.
To say the Spartans blew out the Hawkeyes would probably be an understatement.
Tom Izzo, the Spartan head coach, has another top team that can run, shoot and play defense.
They did all three against the Hawks, jumping out to a 23-9 lead and not looking back, winning in a blowout, 95-61.
Iowa is going to have match-up problems inside this year. Melsahn Basabe, who starts at center, is a good player, but at 6-7, 230, he’s going to have a tough time against the big centers in the Big Ten.
Iowa did a good job against Wisconsin and Minnesota by playing zone. It didn’t hurt that both the Badgers and Gophers weren’t hitting the 3-point shot.
The Spartans shot 61.7 percent from the floor and 55.6 percent from 3-point range.
They also outscored Iowa 50-30 in the paint and 33-9 off turnovers.
No wonder Iowa coach Fran McCaffery threw a chair and became a YouTube sensation.
I heard a couple of people compare Fran to Bobby Knight, the former volatile Indiana coach.
They’re not even close.
From what I’ve seen and heard about Fran, he has a passion for the game, backs his players and treats people with respect.
Bobby Knight was a bully. He choked and kicked his players (his own son), despised the members of the media (he now is one), acted like he could do anything and didn’t seem to respect anyone.
As bad as the Hawks looked against the Spartans, they looked like a totally different team in their 75-59 win over Michigan at Carver Saturday.
The Hawks were playing defense, diving on the floor for loose balls, making big shots, getting steals and not turning the ball over.
Oh yeah, they also had Matt Gatens, and he’s playing at a higher level than most.
Matt passed James Moses for 15th place on Iowa’s all-time leading scorers but he’s more than that. The 6-5 senior played lockdown defense on Michigan’s top scorer, Tim Hardaway, played 38 minutes, went 5-5 from the free throw line, scored 19 and had three steals.
“The job Gatens did on Hardaway was spectacular,” said coach McCaffery. “He just went after him and got him sideways early.”
Matt had a lot of help, with Devyn Marble scoring 13 with six rebounds and four assists.
Devyn has a knack for hitting the big shot when the Hawks need it most.
Zach McCabe has really stepped up his game this year. At 6-7, 230, Zach has the size and strength to play down low, but he also will dive on the floor for a loose ball. He knocked down 4-5 from the floor, had 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Aaron White, who should be getting votes for Sixth Man of the Year, came off the bench with 12 points and five rebounds.
It was a team effort, with Eric May, Basabe, Josh Oglesby, Bryce Cartwright and even Devon Archie making key plays.
Iowa now has 11 wins and eight losses (3-3 in the Big Ten)... that’s what they finished with last year. They have 12 regular season games left and at least one Big Ten Tournament game.
Can they win six more and finish with a winning record for the first time in four years?
Traveling to West Lafayette has not been fun for the Hawkeye women for the last 12 years.
Iowa has not won a game at Purdue since the 1997-98 season.
In Lisa Bluder’s first year as head coach 2000, the Hawks split with the Boilermakers at home and away, finished second behind Purdue in the conference and then beat them, 75-70, for the Big Ten conference championship.
Iowa was led by the dynamic duo of Cara Consuegra and Lindsey Meder at guards with Randy Peterson at center. All made first team All-Big Ten.
Both Cara and Randy are head basketball coaches and Lindsey is a dentist.
Talk about great leaders.
In the Purdue game Saturday, the Hawks were down early, fought back late in the game to take the lead and couldn’t get the last shot to fall, losing 57-55.
“We didn’t box out and we didn’t get to the free throw line,” said coach Bluder. “That’s why we lost the game.”
I couldn’t believe it when I saw Purdue had 24 offensive rebounds. That’s 24 more chances to score and Iowa only loses by two.
Iowa had 14 fouls and Purdue 13, but the Boilermakers made 14-18 free throws, the Hawkeyes 7-10.
Morgan Johnson, once again knocked down more than once on the court, led the way with 16 points.
Jaime Printy and Kelly Krei had 15 and 10 respectively.
Samantha Logic, playing with a sore ankle, led Iowa with eight rebounds, six assists and five points.
The Iowa bench was shut-out going 0-7 from the floor.
The Hawks dropped to 10-8, 2-3 in the Big Ten.